by Ryan Nitz, Head Editor, INALJ Alaska
The 3 Ps of Federal Job Hunting
Working for a federal agency is challenging in many ways, but correspondingly rewarding. Whether you’re primarily interested in the public service aspect, the opportunities to transfer and relocate, or the wide range of types of federal libraries and information centers, I’d say looking into becoming a fed is a worthy addition to the scope of your job search.
If you’re into the idea, I’d like to offer you 3 Ps that helped me in my job search:
be Prepared, be Patient, and be Pliable (because flexible doesn’t start with a P…).
Patience and flexibility being fairly self-explanitory, I’d like to highlight some things that can help in terms of being prepared. Do everything you can think of. If your LIS program has courses focused on federal librarianship, take them. If you can get on as a volunteer at a public information center for a federal agency, do that. Be creative and open to any idea that might get your foot in the proverbial door and land you some experience. Here are a few nice resources that can help you get a feel for issues in federal librarianship, and some steps you might consider taking to help you out:
A really great, informative Slideshare presentation by Helen Sherman: http://www.slideshare.net/faflrt/careers-in-federal-libraries-the-road-to-federal-librarianship-presentation
Some info on scholarship money available for LIS students interested in federal librarianship: http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/scholarships/specialty/fedlibrarian
Federal Librarian, the newsletter: http://www.ala.org/faflrt/newsletters
And, of course, the USA Jobs website: https://www.usajobs.gov/
(additions from NH:)